John 14–16 Letter
My Dear Little Children,
I am writing to you because I am going away… for a little while. Now you still see me, but soon you will not see me, for I am going to the Father. Yet in a little while, you will see me again.
Now if there’s anything I need you to remember it is the way of life that I showed you… lose your life that you may gain it… stoop down, serve one another, love the brothers, wash each other’s feet. This is the will of my Father. These are His commandments — that you love one another. It is through this the world will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. It is through this that you will know the joy of fellowship with the Father — if you do His commandments. This is the joy I have with the Father — and I long for you to share in this joy.
But let me warn you: as I go away, things are not going to be easy for you. As the world has treated me, so now they will treat you. Previously you looked to me to handle the pressure, to speak to those who opposed, to deal with all the threats, insults and arguments. But now that I am going, you will have to deal with it. You will have to speak. And as they came after me, so the world will come after you; you must expect this. The more you live my Way, the more you will stand out from the world — so you will be different from the world — and so the more you will draw attention to yourselves, and so they will hate you. You will now see first-hand the hatred of the world against God — as they make life difficult for you, until the point that your fellow Christians throw you out of your own church and praise God for it… they may even kill you.
But take heart, I have overcome the world — so I know you will overcome the world. How will you overcome the world? Abide in my word, abide in my love. When I go away, the Father will send His Holy Spirit to be with you. He will take my words and bring them to remembrance — so you will not feel alone. You will not be orphans. Through the Spirit you will feel me closer to you than ever before — for now you do not understand me or believe me. But later as you go through the things I have told you, the Spirit will witness to you, you will understand and believe. I will come to you through Him. The Father will come and make His home in you.
It is the Spirit who will work in you to witness my words through you to the world. Through Him, you will convict the world of sin (that they don’t trust me or know the Father), that My Way is the right way and that those who don’t follow My Way will be judged as Satan will be judged. He will continue to give you the right words to say whenever they bring you before rulers and authorities. He will continue to explain my words to you when you are deeply confused. It is He who will help you to understand, when even now you do not understand or believe.
My dear little children, believe in God, believe in me. I am going to the Father to prepare a place for you — a wonderful room for you. And so I will return to take you to this place. I myself will come and get you to bring you to the Father. So have peace — do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid. Where I am you will also be.
I know you will feel deep sorrow when I am gone and all these things begin to happen to you. But it is necessary that they happen. It is necessary because that is how the Father will make you bear more fruit. All this sorrow, which will feel like labour pains, is actually the pruning shears of my Father. By my Father’s gardening, you will grow up to become strong, and do greater works than I have done. For now you rely on me to do everything, but when I am gone, it will be your turn to do the works of God — and it will be glorious, as you show His love to the world!
Pruning is also necessary so that my Father can sift out those who do not believe. The suffering will cut them off from the vine — it will expose the fact that like Judas, they do not believe in me or have my word abiding in them. It is a good thing that this suffering comes. It is only for a little while and then you will see me again; you will have great joy. I tell you all these things because you are my friends — so that you will understand what is happening. The Spirit will make things clearer to you when it happens.
My little children, when I am gone and you are struggling, ask me for anything and I will do it for you. In fact it is the Father whom you will ask. Yes, my little children, the Father Himself loves you; so you can ask Him for anything in my name, and I will do it for you — for He indeed loves you and He loves to ask me to do things for you. So ask for anything and it will be done — you are not alone, He is with you. Share in His joy, my joy in Him.
I am going now, but see you soon. Take heart my little ones… and love one another.
Your Lord Jesus Christ
Written by Pastor Dev Menon